New bid launched to put pink burgers back on the menu

Piotr Mientkiewicz, left and James Baldry  from 6 oz Burgers Picture: Paul Jacobs (150495-9)
Piotr Mientkiewicz, left and James Baldry from 6 oz Burgers Picture: Paul Jacobs (150495-9)

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THE owners of a restaurant banned from selling pink burgers have launched a new bid to put their speciality back on the menu.

James Baldry, co-owner of 6 oz Burgers in Southsea, said he was working with a food hygiene specialist to find a way to get council approval to serve undercooked burgers.

The 32-year-old, and business partner Piotr Mientkiewicz fought an unsuccessful court battle against Portsmouth City Council after it forced the pink burgers off the menu last year.

He said: ‘We are working with a company at the moment to produce a new HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) procedure – hopefully one that will satisfy the council this time so we can produce pink burgers again in the future.’

Mr Baldry said this could involve buying their beef from a firm that produces meat deemed safe to eat raw.

He said: ‘There are several producers up north that produce beef in such a way.

‘Most restaurants don’t use them because it’s very expensive, but since what happened to us could be used as a precedent I think it’s the way more restaurants will have to go.’

Mr Baldry said the unsuccessful appeal had cost them £80,000 to £90,000 in legal fees, which quashed dreams of opening a second restaurant last year.

But he said he was thankful that fears the council would claim another £25,000 to pay for its own fees had been proved to be unfounded.

Mr Baldry said: ‘As far as we know the case is now closed.’

The owners had considered launching another court battle against the ban, but decided against the move because it would have cost too much.

Mr Baldry said: ‘We thought that we couldn’t afford another year in court, so we decided to leave it, start afresh and get the business back to where it was at this time last year.’

Mr Baldry said the business still had some debt to pay off from the court case, but after that they would start saving again for the second restaurant.

He said: ‘We know that a lot of people like to eat their burgers pink so our goal is to return to that. So the future’s bright, it’s just going to take a bit longer than it would have.’